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29 June 2015

Singulus launches modular inline sputtering systems for CIGS, CdTe and heterojunction solar cell production

Singulus Technologies AG of Kahl am Main, Germany says that it has taken its product family of vacuum coating systems for solar technology to the next development level and introduced and installed inline sputtering system for copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) and cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic solar cell production as well as tasks for manufacturing heterojunction cells.

The systems are available with vertical as well as horizontal substrate transport and can be configured for various substrate sizes. They are also suitable for challenging layer stacks and flexible product mixes.

Typical applications include, for example, anti-reflection coatings and barrier coatings, buffer and precursor layers such as copper-gallium, indium, and i-ZnO, but also different metallic layers like Mo, Al, Cu, Ag and NiV, as well as transparent conductive oxide layers like ITO and AZO, which are necessary for new heterojunction cell technology. 

The systems use an inline process in which the substrates are transported on a specially designed conveyor on flat carriers that can be configured flexibly for different substrate formats and materials (e.g. solar wafers). Different automation options for loading and unloading are available.

The Vistaris system (with vertical substrate transport) and the Histaris system (with horizontal transport) have been designed to enhance the efficiency of thin-film solar cells while cutting production costs by using state-of-the-art technologies. The machines have the advantage of what is claimed to be outstandingly even coating thicknesses and highly homogeneous coatings. Cell performance is appreciably improved. Due to their modular structure the systems are versatile to use and have a compact design, significantly reducing the production area occupied and therefore cutting investment outlay. High reliability and the easy-to-service design principle boost uptime and slash production costs, claims Singulus. 

Through its production systems, Singulus supplies wet-chemical processing, coating machines and selenization systems for second-generation CIGS/CIS cells. Inline sputtering systems add a further production stage to the portfolio, which already spans the key processes of CIGS/CIS cell production.

In light of the anticipated volume of investment in production lines for CIGS/CIS thin-film solar cells, Singulus believes the long-term prospects of the solar segment are bright.

Singulus will be exhibiting in booth 7621 (West Hall, Level 1) at Intersolar North America 2015 in San Francisco (14-16 July).

Tags: Singulus CIGS/CIS PV CdTe Thin-film photovoltaic

Visit: www.singulus.de

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